Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
P.S. I apologize for the paucity of posts. It's just been a weird weekend and beginning of the week. I'm currently unemployed, and spent the better part of the day standing in the 30º cold at a job fair that was mostly for naught. Anyone in the NYC area need an intellectual property attorney with an entertainment background for legal or business development work?
Saturday, February 21, 2009
*As I did remark earlier, I loved the callback to the "Pilot" as the episode opened on Jack's eye. His look of relief/happiness to be back on the Island stood in stark contrast to his look of terror and confusion from that first episode. My, how far our hero has come. Then again, I'm glad not too far: I thought it was great that Jack was still the Doubting Thomas until he made it back to the Island.
*It will be very interesting to find out why Hurley and Kate got on the plane and felt they had to go back to the Island. My guess for Hurley: We have a Charlie Pace sighting in our immediate future (Or Hurley's past, I guess). For Kate: I think she gave Aaron up for adoption, especially after her line, "Why hold onto something that makes you feel so sad?" Why she's so sad with Aaron or what the circumstances surrounding the possible adoption are, I have no idea.
*If Ellie from "Jughead" is Eloise Hawking (which I think she is), how/when did she get off the Island? She must have been there long enough to learn of the Dharma Initiative, but Faraday's American. Did he have an American father? And as Faraday's nose never bled, he wasn't on the Island before he got there from the Freighter. I have no idea how old Faraday is, but assumedly, Hawking would have had to have left the Island in the mid-70's. Speaking of Faraday, I bet he's the "intelligent man" Hawking described as creating the Lamp Post station.
*If the Island is constantly moving, how did the Others move to and from the rest of the world in the submarine? Or is it that no matter where it is, you can leave it's "pull" on a certain bearing, but that when the Island is actually "Moved" (like Ben did, and when the Button wasn't pushed), the bearing changes?
*OK, I was half right. "316" was clearly referencing the Bible passage, but it was certainly not the bearing needed to get onto the Island. It was the Ajira Airways flight number! So obvious, especially as we knew Ajira would factor prominently sooner or later. Duh!
*Ben's "promise to an old friend" HAS to be that he went to kill Penny. Ben had promised Widmore that he would exact revenge for Alex's killing by Keamey by killing Widmore's daughter. Further, when Ben called Jack, he was calling from a marina. As we know, Desmond and Penny (and little Charlie!) were living on a boat, and likely sailed to L.A. Question then, what happened to Desmond? Did Ben kill him too? Likely not, as the Island "isn't done with [Desmond] yet." It's going to be real awkward between Des and really everyone when he gets back to the Island (I'm assuming Des is going back to seek revenge on Ben).
*Frank Lapidus is back! Awesome! Lapidus' beard is gone. Not awesome. Think he'll be killed by Smokey like Oceanic 815's pilot?
*Where are Ben, Sun and Sayid? Where are the two new characters? Will they help the 815ers?
*I love that the show, while answering the big questions, is addressing the small questions too. Case in point, we found out why Christian Shephard was wearing white shoes in the Season 1 episode, "White Rabbit." Very cool.
*One of my questions was answered by this episode, When did the Island stop moving? As I supposed, the 70's during the heyday of the Dharma Initiative, evidenced by Jin in Dharma garb driving a Dharma van. Couple questions: Why didn't Jin recognize Hurley, Jack and Kate immediately? Did he, and he was just massively confused? It seems he didn't until Hurley called his name. Weird. Secondly, how the heck did Jin, Sawyer, Miles, Faraday and Juliet get into Dharma? Wouldn't Dharma assume our friends are Hostiles?
Pretty good episode. Definitely a transitional episode, which is fine. I know there is a season-and-a-half left, but I have a nervous feeling about something. It has been posited before that the Adam and Eve skeletons are going to be Kate and either Jack or Sawyer. Assumedly, they'll die in the 70's, and rot until the Lostaways discover them in 2004. I hope this isn't the case. I really want most of them to get off the Island permanently and land in present day. Jin and Sun need to take care of their daughter. Jack needs to be the successful hero. Juliet needs to get back to her sister. Etc., etc. If the show ends with them in the 70's, I'll be upset (as if Darlton are concerned with my feelings).
However, as I was writing this, something dawned on me: what if Adam and Eve are Bernard and Rose. Rose didn't want to leave the Island because it cured her cancer, and Bernard said he'd stay with her. They were time hopping with everyone else, and also landed in the 70's. Further, Adam and Eve were discovered with two stones, one black and one white. Just like Rose and Bernard. Perhaps the other Lostaways will find them dead in the jungle (victims of the Hostiles? The Purge?), and "bury" them in the Caves. Thoughts on this? Anyway, thanks again for reading. We'll chat next week about what promises to be an awesome episode, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham."
Thursday, February 19, 2009
One note though: how freaking awesome was the callback to the "Pilot" with Jack's eye opening in the jungle? Answer: VERY awesome.
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
AP claims that Fairey violated the AP's copyright in the photo (photos can be copyrighted because the selection of angle, color, brightness, etc. illustrate sufficiently the creativity and originality required to secure a copyright). Many in the legal field have been making the case that Fairey is in the clear here due to the doctrine of fair use. For a good fair use analysis, see Tim O'Brien's blog here.
Essentially, I think this is right. Fairey has clearly created a derivative work of the AP's photo. Derivative works are adaptations or visible reuses of an existing work. The right to create derivative works based on one's original work, lie within the copyright of the original author. Fairey added his own creativity to the AP photo, but his poster is clearly based on the AP photo. However, up to the point the suit was filed, Fairey hadn't made any money on the poster; any revenue generated by selling the posters was reinvested to make more posters. Lack of commercial profit is a factor in the fair use analysis. Further, and I think more importantly, the work should be considered "transformative" in that it added something to the social discourse (the election). Transformative works are more often than not considered fair uses -- we want people to create more works that add to the social discourse by commenting on works already in the public sphere.
I think the only possible problem Fairey's fair use defense will run into is that the AP's market for their photo as a poster. Under the ruling in the National Geographic Society v. Classified Geographic, Inc., 27 F.Supp 655 (D.Mass 1939), if a copyright owner has a market for derivatives of its own work, fair use will not prevail. However, as the AP is supposed to be in the reporting business, and not in the campaigning business (although the AP's "neutrality" has been called into question a number of times), the chance they were going to make and sell Obama campaign posters is virtually nil.
All in all, it doesn't seem like the AP really has a case. In fact, this is eerily similar to the Jones Day case we discussed below; another case of an entity with a lot of money trying to push around a small fry. I know, this happens all the time, but I just hope Fairey holds firm and sees this through. The AP has already been dropped by a number of papers and is facing a fiscal crisis of its own, so perhaps Fairey can do some pushing of his own.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
This appears to me to be a simple case of a firm being embarassed and not wanting to appear to be giving away lavish salaries during these Tough Economic Times®. In my opinion, Jones Day's chance of success on a trademark infringement claim was about .00001%. Jones Day claimed BlockShopper was diluting Jones Day's trademark and causing customer confusion.
Without getting too lost in the legal weeds, the customer confusion claim (the prototypical trademark infringement claim) is almost completely without merit. Jones Day would have to have proven customers of the BlockShopper site, or of Jones Day itself, thought Jones Day somehow sponsored BlockShopper -- that BlockShopper was a Jones Day product. Click around the site. Other than the paid advertising, do you get any inclination that BlockShopper is somehow sponsored by anyone, let alone Jones Day?
The blurring claim is ridiculous because as a threshold issue, the trademark being diluted needs to be a "famous mark." Famous marks are defined by federal law as marks that are “widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States.” Anyone out there in the non-legal world ever heard of Jones Day? McDonald's? Yes. Nike? Yes. Jones Day? No. Let's assume that Jones Day is a famous mark, then what is the analysis? Well, Jones Day would then have had to prove that BlockShopper's use was so pervasive that when a customer heard or saw "Jones Day" he or she would say, "Jones Day? Hmmmm.....is that the law firm or the real estate website?" Again, proving this would have been virtually impossible.
On top of the ridiculousness of the claims themselves, BlockShopper would have also likely been protected by fair use. Fair use is the idea, found in both statutory and case law, that sometimes use of another's trademark that may be illegal is still permissible. There are numerous fair uses: one being comparison (e.g. Pepsi showing a Coke machine in its commercials), but of direct importance, the use of trademarks descriptively. Just as NBC can talk about Starbucks (and put a picture of Starbucks' logo on the screen) to describe the closing of hundreds of Starbucks stores, so too can BlockShopper use Jones Day's name to describe the public real estate transactions of its associates.
To me, this seems like an embarrassed large company using it's financial power to push around the person doing the embarrassing. If Jones Day had pursued a copyright claim related to BlockSopper's use of Jones Day's pictures, that would have been a lot more reasonable; perhaps not advisable, but at least the argument would have been rooted in the law. BlockShopper, faced with ridiculous legal bills in order to defend these ridiculous claims, opted to settle by placing full addresses linked to the associates' Jones Day bio pages and stating that more info on the associates are available on the site. It's a shame that BlockShopper had to settle, but the prospect of losing the site because of mounting legal debt is far more adverse.
Thanks to the following sites for some great info on the case: The Legal Satyricon, Consumer Law & Policy Blog (also some info on Jones Day's other attempts to use trademark infringement claims to bully people being critical of them), and Slate.
This was my first thought when I learned that tomorrow night's episode of Lost is entitled "316." My second thought was this:
That's Rollen Stewart. He's the guy who used to hold John 3:16 signs at football games and other nationally televised events.
Anyway, it is not hard to imagine that in the world of Lost, this verse applies to our favorite ex-paraplegic, John Locke. After the events of "Because You Left" and "This Place is Death," it became clear to Locke that he must sacrifice himself to protect the Island, and most likely his friends as well (Yes, I still think Locke considers the Lostaways as his friends, as well as his "people"). I am hoping that we will get to see what Locke did when he landed back in the off-Island world. Where did he land? WHEN did he land? What will also be interesting from a story-telling standpoint is that, potentially, we will be seeing Locke approaching the O6 at the same time they are going back to the Island via Ms. Hawking.
Speaking of Ms. Hawking and the O6, Erika points out that the other meaning of "316" that is most likely (as most things have two meanings on Lost) is that 316º is the new bearing to be used to reach the Island. I'm rather intrigued by the O6 getting back to the Island and what/who they will find there. Where did the Island come to rest when Locked "fixed" it? I am with Erika in believing the '70s, during the heyday of the Dharma Initiative. Will they be able to prevent The Purge? What else can they change, if anything? So many questions, I could go on all day.
Anyway, feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments. Enjoy the show tomorrow night, and I'll leave some thoughts on Thursday.
P.S. Whaddya think about this? Legitimate energy company, or Dharma Initiative front?
Update: A commenter made a very fair point: "Just because anti-gay beliefs are condoned and exploited by GOP leaders does not make anti-Gay attitudes conservative." I completely agree. I should have been more careful in my wording above. I was talking about the implications made by BuzzFeed that Pat, as a conservative, would be homophobic or whatever. As the commenter points out, I shouldn't have implied that conservative = anti-gay. I will try to be more careful in making blanket statements in the future.
Friday, February 13, 2009
In case anyone was wondering to which team I will be devoting too much time to on this blog, well, they're Amazing.
With zero House Republicans voting for the stimulus -- and with just three Senate Republicans expected to vote for it later this afternoon -- it's worth noting that 28 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats voted for the final passage of Bush's big tax cut in 2001. (And remember, too, that Bush had barely won the presidential election the year before.) The size of that 2001 tax-cut package? $1.35 trillion.(h/t: First Read)
It appears that Andrew is right in saying that the Republicans have no interest in working with President Obama, and in fact have declared war on his administration. More from Andrew on the war against Obama here, here, here, and on the intellectual dishonesty of the Republicans here. This all from a conservative too.
The whole reason the right to a free press is enshrined in the 1st Amendment is so that reporters can reveal the inner workings of government, corporations and other bastions of power, and expose any hidden cancers within them, without the fear of reprisal. How can they do this necessary work if those with knowledge within these institutions are unwilling to step forward because they might be exposed? While we do have whistleblower protection laws, nothing has extended to journalists themselves.
Per Justin's summary, there could be some possible issues, namely whether bloggers are covered (see the definition of "journalist"), and that the government only need show a preponderance of evidence to have the source or documents revealed. The preponderance test jumps out at me.
*I apologize in advance for the legal mubo-jumbo to follow. I am a lawyer after all.*
When laws are scrutinized to see if they infringe on certain rights, depending on what is being infringed, different tests are utilized. The least amount of scrutiny is whether the government has a rational basis in enacting the law (e.g. giving tickets for running red lights). The middle level is known as intermediate scrutiny and requires that a law relate to important government interests (e.g. requiring separate men's and women's bathrooms in public facilities). Lastly, there is strict scrutiny, which requires that a law must fail unless the government has a "compelling government interest." This is invoked when a right granted in the Constitution is potentially infringed (e.g. Zoroastrianists can't practice their religion). Requiring a "preponderance" of the evidence is equal to the rational basis test. The requirement of a jury to find guilt "beyond a shadow of a doubt" is equal to strict scrutiny.
While anonymous source cases don't involve the direct restriction of a free press, which would clearly invoke strict scrutiny, I feel laws effecting the ability of the press to conduct it's job and fully realize it's 1st Amendment right should be subjected to more scrutiny than what is essentially a rational basis. An intermediate scrutiny seems appropriate here. Regardless, this law, in my humble opinion, is the right way to go as the media and news coverage explodes. Thoughts?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
*Very cool interactions between Jin, Danielle and the rest of her group. Poor Montand and his arm! What exactly is it about The Temple (I will assume this is the same Temple Ben sent the Others to) and Smokey that made the French Folk crazy? Why would Robert turn on his love Danielle and their child, Alex?
*I'm sorry to see Charlotte die. I was really digging her character, and more, how Faraday was interacting with her. I think in the scenes for next week's episode, Charlotte was pictured, so maybe she'll be brought back. However, she kind of gave up the goose by explaining everything about her being born on the Island, leaving, etc. What was most interesting to me though, was her assertion that Faraday had told her when she was a child that she would die if she returned to the Island. He appeared to have no recollection of this. Desmond only remembered Faraday telling him to find Faraday's mother once Faraday saw him on the Island. How could Faraday tell young Charlotte not to come back if he didn't know she would die until that moment, assumedly before he ever went back to the 70's (as seen in the season premiere)? Maybe he was just hiding the fact he knew she was going to die, but I don't think so.
*Did Locke stop the time jumping when he realigned the Frozen Donkey Wheel? And if so, WHEN did they stop? I will assume the 70's so Daniel can go see the construction of the Orchid, we can get more info on the Dharma Initiative, and we can confirm Miles is the son of Dr. Chang. If the Island is in the 70's, how do the O6 get to the Island? When they do get there, does that mean our on-island folks will have aged 30 years waiting for the O6? Seems unlikely.
*I enjoyed the whole "Locke-down-the-well" scene, especially Sawyer's desire to keep Locke safe. I'm sure it was selfishly motivated (want to get off the Island/see Kate), but something struck me about his digging around the rope. I tell ya, Josh Holloway is firing on all cylinders this season.
*Off-island, it has been confirmed that Sun was after Ben, and not Jack. Not surprising, but I'm still curious as to how she knows Ben was partially responsible, unless, again, it is just a Ben is Evil kind of thing.
*I didn't want to see a dispersal of the O6 just to complicate/stall them getting back to the Island, but it felt organic. I remember thinking while watching last week's episode, "Man, Kate is going to be pissed when she finds out Jack was just trying to get her back to the Island!" Lo and behold, she was! Same for Sayid. Will it be sufficient that only a few of them go back? Will they get everyone together in the end?
*I had completely forgotten about Desmond trying to get to Mrs. Hawking. Very cool that he showed up at the end. Ben's reaction was great too.
*Glad to see Ji Yeon was alive and well. It had entered my mind that Sun's daughter had died, thereby activating further rage in Sun. Oh, and despite my concerns, Yunjin Kim is back to the great actress we know she is.
OK, that's all for now. Remember to check out Doc at EW.com and Erika at Long Live Locke. And please leave some Comments so we can further discuss the episode and throw some ideas back and forth.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
*Who is Sun after? Ben? Jack? Someone else? She's been all sorts of shady, and seemingly blames Ben for Jin's "death," but how would she know Ben killed Keamy? Erika went into this a bit in her review for "The Little Prince;" I just don't see how Sun can blame Ben unless she just blames him for his overall evil-ness. This will be interesting to watch though.
*How is Ben going to get Hurley to go with him back to the Island? We know Hurley's out of jail, so how will be convinced? I guess now that Sayid is on Ben's side, Hurley will go too.
*Will Locke be successful in getting off the Island via the Orchid station? How will he know what to do? Where/when will it drop him?
*Will Sawyer and Faraday start feeling the effects of the "sickness?" Can they stop it before the O6 get back to the Island?
Of course, as this is Lost, there are a number of other questions, but we'll address those after tonight's episode. See you tomorrow!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I think Andrew is right though. There is no deus ex machina coming. We need to dig ourselves out of this hole slowly, bracing it along the way so it doesn't fall in on us. President Obama is correct in that he inherited this mess from the previous administration, and while we need to be extra vigilant in overseeing that his administration and Congress do what they have promised ("fool me once" and all), we need to give them some time. As much as we all want Change, we need to take a breath and take stock of where we are. Only then can we move forward in a positive direction.
Update: More from Andrew on Patience.
Update II: Even more from Andrew. What can I say, I like the way the guy thinks, and if someone can say it better than me, so be it.
"You spend only one day on your deathbed. It's the other 25,000 days you should worry about. You should end every day happy."
That quote is from last week's episode of House, "The Greater Good." I don't know, something about that really struck me. As some of you know, I have a pretty large fear of death, and like the doctor expressed before the patient responded with the above, I don't want to look back on my life and think I didn't do anything important. Perhaps the most important thing I'll ever do for society is that I'll be a great husband and father -- maybe it will be my kid that cures cancer or something. I should be happy with that. I don't know if I am though. These Tough Economic Times® have got everyone feeling down, I know, but I just feel lost. I'm 31, went to law school late, didn't follow the correct path, am now foundering in defining and pursuing my career, and realized that I don't really want to be a lawyer! At least not in the most traditional sense. Anyway, this is all to say, that quote got to me. I need to figure out a way to truly be happy at the end of every day.*
*Should my wife read this, I am VERY happy with my marriage. The above really addresses my career and doing something special with my life outside of my marriage. No worries dear!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
In the last few days, we've seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read, but you'd be very familiar with, because you've been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer. They're rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems, that government doesn't have a role to play, that half measures and tinkering are somehow enough, that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges: the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They've taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over $1 trillion. And they've brought our economy to a halt. And that's precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment, and now's the time to move forward, not back. Now's the time for action.
Elections have consequences. We need a little more of the "I won," Barack Obama, and a little less of the conciliatory one.
(h/t: Ben Smith)
*I think Kate will, eventually, end up with Jack, barring jack making the ultimate sacrifice for his friends. Her line, "I have always been with you [Jack]," and her expression when Jack stated, "Aaron is my family too," suggested to me that although she does love Sawyer (and is willing to endanger her relationship with Jack over Sawyer re: Clementine), she feels connected to Jack and always will. Perhaps she sewed a bit of herself into Jack after the crash.
*What is going on with Yunjin Kim? Is she just trying really hard to make Sun look shady, or did she forget how to act during the break? She has always been one of the finest actors on the show, so I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. For what it's worth, I think she's going after Ben with the gun, not Jack, and I think the scenes from the next episode confirm that.
*I don't get the idea that the time-hopping on the Island is because the Oceanic 6 left. I thought it was because the Frozen Donkey Wheel was turned. Not that I should be questioning the sci-fi-y rules of the Island.
*Let's stop for a second to say how freaking great Josh Holloway was in this episode. I mean, he's always been great portraying Sawyer, but the ability to emote so much with only about a third of his face lit when he was watching Kate and Claire, was incredible.
*As soon as I saw French on the side of that container in the newly-found wreckage, I thought Rousseau. I'm glad we might catch a glimpse of what happened to Rosseau's group and their "sickness" (time-travel sickness?). It never occurred to me that she would have been so young when she came to the Island. Oh, and very cool that the transmission the French guys were picking up on the radio was the ever-present 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.
*Lastly, it's been becoming clear that Charlotte (definitely) and Miles (probably) had lived on the Island previously. Not to draw too much from them both being Asian, but I'd bet that Miles is Pierre Chang's son; I mean, why bother showing us that Chang had a son? Charlotte, on the other hand, well, it wouldn't surprise me if she was Ellie and Charles Widmore's daughter.
OK, that's all for now on Lost. I'm going to go read Doc Jensen's recap over at EW, and I'll post a link to Erika's recap when she posts hers. Should they spark any other thoughts, I'll post them here.
Sunday: Desperate Housewives, Big Love, Flight of the Conchords, The Amazing Race
Monday: Chuck, Heroes, House, 24, The Bachelor, How I Met Your Mother, Worst Week, Trust Me
Tuesday: American Idol, Fringe, The Mentalist, Scrubs
Wednesday: Lost, American Idol, Lie to Me, Life on Mars, Top Chef, Damages
Thursday: Survivor, The Office, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl
When I Can Catch Them: The Rachel Maddow Show, Mythbusters, Cash Cab, Meet the Press
And, of course, I try to fit in the NJ Devils and NY Mets when they are on. Wow, I think I might have a TV addiction. This is what happens when your wife is a Broadway actress and not at home weeknights. Thank God for DVR and online episodes! Anyway, if you watch any of this stuff, let's talk about it. And if you have any suggestions, please fire away. However, I give you this warning: I will not watch Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters or Private Practice. I've seen an episode or two, and hated them. Sorry for their fans. You can try to persuade me, but it will be difficult. OK, off to watch last night's Lost again!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
For a quick hit of last week's episode, "Jughead," check out this video. My overriding thought about this episode was, "They couldn't find a better actress to play Ellie? I mean, my God, she was bloody awful!" See you tomorrow.
Now that I have the blog name out of the way, I am recommitting myself to posting at least one new post a day (and hopefully more), which, frankly, should be easier, as my job ends on Friday.